Whether you want to learn to bake a cake or make an awesome webpage, one of the best ways to learn a new craft is find and follow the gurus in your desired field of expertise. Thus, creating a powerful Excel spreadsheet is no different, and the good news is there are a few Excel Gurus that make their knowledge available for public consumption and most of it is completely free! These experts can help you learn the basics of applying Excel in practical business situations and can even step up your skills a notch by showing you how to perform advanced data analysis and Excel programming using Visual Basic. We scoured the Internet and found many Microsoft Certified Most Valuable Professionals1 from all over the world, and hand picked those who have made it their mission to help others master Excel. Study Excel with these experts and you will be a pro no time!
Ken Puls – The Excel Guru
Ken Puls is the one person on this list that might be able to make an official claim on the title of “Excel Guru,” as he owns and operates an Excel knowledge sharing site called Excel Guru. The site is a veritable warehouse of Excel learning material and contains a number of resources, including active forums, a well maintained blog, and many other Excel learning resources. In addition to owning and operating Excel Guru, Ken is a Certified Management Accountant and the Controller and IT Director of the Fairwinds Resort on Vancouver Island.
He first got involved with Excel when introducing Office97 and the use of Excel spreadsheets to the Fairwinds accounting systems and hasn’t looked back since. He is completely self-taught and in 2006 received the Microsoft MVP designation. He is the co-author of RibbonX: Customizing the Office 2007 Ribbon and also consults as as an MS Office developer and trainer. Recently, he has delved into the world of online courses and is the lead Excel instructor of GoSkills, an Excel course for beginners.
Chandoo.org is run by CEO Purna “Chandoo” Duggirala out of Vishakhapatnam, India. Purna worked for Tata Consulting, one of India’s leading IT companies and started the site for fun in 2004. It was a personal blog for three years before he really honed in on Excel and used it as a platform to discuss the Excel projects he was working on. He has a strong passion for analytics and data visualization and comes across clearly in the information presented on his site. In 2010, he was recognized as a Microsoft MVP and consequently quit his job to run Chandoo full time and hasn’t looked back since.
The site itself is very easy on the eyes with lots of white space and not too many advertisements. There are many ways newbies can find new information on the site. Someone with zero knowledge can start with the tutorials and formulas sections, while those with more knowledge can comb through the tips and forum areas. There is also an extensive blog and newsletter for those who want to receive tips and examples a couple of times a week. Chandoo is active on Twitter and can be followed at @r1c1. For those who want to kick it up and notch and invest in their studies Chandoo also has an Excel School with a basic course as well as financial modeling, and project management options.
Stateside the “elephant in the room” is clearly Bill Jelen, also known as Mr. Excel. He is an Excel teacher, author, publisher, webmaster, and TV personality, not to mention Excel MVP. Bill started using Excel in 1985 and spent 12 years working as a financial analyst. He launched Mr. Excel in 1998 and has been dishing out Excel advice since the early days of the internet. In 2004, Bill founded Holy Macro! Books and since has published 35 books. He also written many articles for business magazines and websites, and teaches corporate Excel seminars on a regular basis.
The Mr. Excel website boasts over 500 thousand Excel questions answered which is quite impressive. Those looking to learn excel should start with the Excel articles page, which is seemingly neverending page of Excel tutorials and tips. Mr. Excel also has a very active user forum which had almost 2 thousand active guests when we checked in. Finally, perhaps the best part of Mr. Excel’s site is his blog where he posts video podcasts where he demonstrates answers to Excel questions on a daily basis. Bill is also active on Twitter and goes by the handle, @MrExcel.
Test Your Excel Skills
Debra Dalgleish is a private consultant from Canada that has been practicing independently since 1985. She has comprehensive experience designing complex Excel applications and has led hundreds of Excel corporate training sessions. She started off as in the early days of Excel as an active participant in Excel newsgroups and has been recognized as an Excel MVP since 2001. Debra has written three books on Pivot Tables and a downloadable guide to Excel functions.
Debra also operates Contextures, another great resource for learning Excel. The site has an antiquated design and is spartan, save a few Google ads. However, the Excel Tips page makes up for the look and feel. It is alphetically organized Wiki with almost 350 different entries, many of which have video tutorials for additional support. Contextures also has a download page stock full of goodies, including templates, macros, and add-ins. Finally, Contextures also has a great blog that covers a lot of practical applications in Microsoft Excel. Debra tweets about Excel via @Contextures.
John “Mr. Spreadsheet” Walkebach is a former Excel MVP (2000 – 2010) and owner/operator of The Spreadsheet Page and has been using spreadsheet since the days of VisiCalc, which was popular from 1979 to 1985! He worked in financial services and data processing for many years before starting his own consulting company and started The Spreadsheet Page in 1996. He has written 50 books and over 300 articles on Excel, and also has developed several popular Excel add-ins.
The Spreadsheet Page is a simple site but the content is very solid. What is nice about it, is that unlike Chandoo and Mr. Excel there are almost no advertisements. While Mr. Spreadsheet gives his books prominent placement, you cannot even buy them through his site. Those who are looking answers to Excel questions can just beeline to the tips page to find an extensive wiki with written how-to content and some occasional pictures. Sorry but once the training wheels come off the videos tutorials start disappearing! John also has a good amount of template, macro, and add-in downloads, of which the Power Utility Pak and Enhanced Data Form are most popular. He also blogs and tweets periodically via @jwalkblog.
Dick Kuseleika (And Friends)
Our final expert is Dick Kusleika, a CPA and Excel MVP. Unlike the other people who made it to this list, Dick has a relatively normal day job working for an avionics test equipment manager. However, he does do some Excel consulting on the side on a referral basis and co-authored two books on Office and Access.
What puts Dick on this list is his blog, Daily Dose Of Excel. The blog has been helping people with their Excel problems since 2004 and has a heavy focus on Excel programming, Visual Basic, advanced data analysis, business intelligence, and data visualization. What makes this blog different is that Dick has invited several other respect Excel gurus and MVP’s to co-write the blog with him. His fellow bloggers are Michael Alexander, Stephen Bullen, Ron de Bruin, Juan Pablo Gonzalez, Tushar Mehta, Jan Karel Pieterse, Rob van Gelder, and John Walkenbach, all of whom are Excel rockstars in their own right. Thus the Daily Dose is also the “Who’s Who in Excel” and the Excel “All-Star” Team and it’s become a mega resource for anyone doing Excel programming. In fact, if you troll the internet looking for places to learn advanced Excel, anyone who knows anything has Daily Dose of Excel on their blogroll or list of resources. While Dick has had a little help from his friends, he has written 70% of the 1900 posts on his own so he certainly deserves guru status! If you are an advanced Excel user and are looking for some more gurus to follow than check these 40 advanced Excel and VBA resources many of which are operated by MVP’s.
“Patience Young Grasshopper”
Finally, all of you aspiring Excel learners have found your gurus to help you study Excel! However, you can’t expect all the vast knowledge of these Excel gurus to rub off onto you overnight. Bookmark their pages and sign up for their newsletters and RSS feeds. Mastery in Excel, just like any other subject requires dedication, time, and patience. Most importantly, you should be taking what you learn from these Excel Experts and trying to apply them in your own spreadsheets with your own data. If you have been searching for more resources to help you learn Excel, it is in you best interest to review these 133 Excel resources which includes guides, tutorials, templates, add-ins, and courses Best of luck learning Excel!
|Courses||9 Online Courses to Help You Master Excel|
|Downloads||50+ Excel Templates & Dashboards|
|Add-Ins||50+ Excel Add-ins to Help You Step Up Your Excel Game|
|Gurus||6 Excel Gurus to Study Under|
|References||40 Free Excel Tutorials & Reference Sites|
|Blog||12 Data Points That Prove Learning Excel Will Increase Your Salary|
|Jobs||6 Jobs for Excel Power Users|
|Advanced||Advanced Excel and VBA Programming|